Slimfast 321 Diet Plan #SlimFastChallenge

As any of my readers will know I’ve struggled a bit with my weight since having my second child.  I never lost it like I did with my first and found comfort in fresh bread, chocolate and wine!

My youngest is now 4yrs old and it’s time for me to change.  I have a wardrobe full of clothes I can’t wear and limit myself to the same few items that go through the wash, get worn and back in the wash again.  I want the old me back, not that I was ever stick thin, but a healthy size 12-14 would be amazing!

So when Slimfast gave me the opportunity to take part in the 2 week #SlimFastChallenge, how could I refuse?

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I lost 10lbs or so earlier this year and dropped a dress size but since then have become rather static with my weight loss.  What appeals to me about Slimfast is that the meal and snack replacements are easy to grab on the go, there’s no excuse for not having something with you, or not having made something, or not having the ingredients in the house!

I’ll be following the 3.2.1 plan which involves having 3 snacks a day, 2 meal replacements (breakfast and lunch) and a 600 calorie meal in the evening.  Being rather fond of carbohydrates and of course chocolate, the Slimfast plan snacks and meal replacements really appeal to me, Cheddar Flavour bites, Sour Cream & Chive Pretzels, Rich Chocolate Shake, Caramel Temptation Powder milkshake, Chocolate Crunch meal bar and many more!!!  Sounds like a heavenly diet to me!

Each evening I have to provide my own 600 calorie meal, which I feel is quite generous.  If you’re careful with your choices you can have a very plentiful meal with lots of fresh vegetables on the side.

I’m hoping that by following this plan, it will kickstart my weightloss again and that I get motivated to continue long after the 2 weeks is up, leaving me feeling fit and fabulous for the summer.

You can keep up with my progress under the #SlimFastChallenge hashtag on twitter and there’ll be a follow up post on here at the end of the two weeks.

Wish me luck!!

UPDATE:  Read about my Slimfast results.

All reviews are my own opinions and I received the products in order to write the review.

 

Jane Plan – Healthy Meals Delivered to your door – Review

Jane Plan is a delicious diet plan that is delivered to your door monthly.  Having put on weight and overeating since my youngest was born four years ago, I’ve felt really uncomfortable in myself and have a wardrobe full of clothes I no longer wear.  With my 40th birthday coming up in March this year, I knew I had to change the way I eat (and drink wine!) to start enjoying life to the full again instead of hiding away in leggings and baggy tops, feeling uncomfortable at social occasions and wondering what on earth I’m going to wear on the beach this year for our family summer holiday!

When Jane Plan spoke to me about trying their program, I knew this could be the answer to get me on my way to feeling fit and fab again.  With the food delivered to my door, I couldn’t dish myself up oversize portions and along with working and a busy family life, I wouldn’t have to worry making myself different meals to the rest of the family as it was all taken care of for me.  So I placed my order with Jane Plan and looked forward to the delivery.

Aimed at providing you with around 1200 calories a day, you are sent your choice of 28 breakfasts, 28 lunches, 28 dinners and 28 snacks from the fairly large choice available.  The only thing you need to add is milk or yoghurt to use with breakfast and additional fruit and vegetables to supplement your meals should you choose to.

jane planI chose all my meals based on a vegetarian diet and tended to pick soups and salads for lunchtimes and pasta based meals for dinner.  When the box arrived it seemed like a lot of food, but had to remember that this was to last me for the next 28 days!

Although the meals are long life, they are freshly cooked and packaged using the SousVide method, avoiding any artificial preservatives, colours, or additives.  This is done by steaming the food to a high temperature then sealing each portion whilst still hot, thus preserving it naturally.

jane plan 2The daily snacks included in Jane Plan consist of either a single small round biscuit or three mini oatcakes.  I chose a variety of each in quite a choice of flavours from toasted almond shortbread, to vanilla crunch and fig & hazelnut cookies.  The oatcakes came in plain, cheese or black pepper varieties.  I was slightly concerned when I saw a lot of these biscuits were gluten free as I’ve not found gluten free products to be very palatable before but there is only one thing I can say about every one of the snacks you see in the above picture – Absolutely delicious!!

The biscuits are quite small but they are thicker than your standard biscuit.  Every mouthful tasted rich, buttery and just melted in the mouth.  I couldn’t wait for my daily snack each day as it really was that little bit of something sweet I craved each day.  I did really enjoy the oatcakes too and with three in each pack, it gave me something to nibble on to help beat afternoon cravings.  It’s lucky the snacks are individually wrapped as I don’t think I could have just eaten one otherwise!

janes plan 5I started each morning with a bowl of porridge or Maca’s Secret Muesli which I added natural yoghurt too.  I found all the breakfasts totally satisfying and the perfect way to start the day.  They were all quick to put together too, the porridge (both plain and vanilla) microwave in a couple of minutes with some added water in the bowl you eat out of, so no added washing up!

For lunches I tended to have soup when at home, which came in a pouch that you simply heat up in the microwave.  I usually added a couple of low calorie crispbreads or occasionally a slice of unbuttered bread to help fill me up.

janes plan 4When at work or out of the house I opted for a salad, which came in a small pot that just required a fork to eat with.  I had both a couscous salad and wholegrain salad to choose from and although I enjoyed them both and found them quite pleasant to eat, they both contained red kidney beans and sweetcorn.  I would have preferred them to have been a bit more varied with perhaps something green in them.  There is a three bean salad which I wish I had tried, not sure how I missed it but as I’ve mentioned there is quite a lot of choice available on the Jane Plan menu.

Dinner time was something I eagerly awaited each day whilst following the plan and have to say I found the meals really tasty.  I chose a lot of Mediterranean dishes such as pasta arrabiata, vegetable lasagne and ratatouille.  I have to say my absolute favourite is the pasta Mediterranean which was delicious in a rich tomato sauce with peppers and courgettes (two of my favourite vegetables!).  The lasagne was good too, once I got used to the fact that it had no cheese on it! lol  I have to say cheese was one of the food items I did miss throughout the month.

janes plan 3So how did I find it?

For the first three or four days, there is no denying it was hard!!  My body is used to me grazing all day, then enjoying a couple of glasses of wine in the evening.  I did find the gap from breakfast (7am) until lunch quite hard particularly on work days, but I had some fruit mid morning to see me through.  Likewise going from lunchtime (12pm) through to bedtime which is often 11/12pm with just a small biscuit and a single course of dinner could be tough, but I found my body soon learnt to adjust and the stomach rumbles eased off.  I found cups of green tea with lemon (which I really enjoy) to be a big help between meals to see me through and a bowl of grapes in the evening (rather than the liquid variety) would help me last until bedtime.

I found having the food ready made and portioned to be an enormous help.  I am a working mum with two young children, a husband who works shifts and life is hectic enough.  The portions ensured I kept on track and didn’t leave me open to temptation as I know I would have been had I been preparing my own food.  This is definitely the kickstart I needed and now feel my body is used to eating less food, so I feel more confident continuing myself after finishing on Jane Plan.  Although should you wish to continue they do offer money saving plans if you sign up for longer periods.

And the question you’ve all been waiting for – how much weight did I lose?  12lb

So as you can imagine, I’m thrilled!!  As much as I did stick to the plan, I have to admit to having a couple of glasses of wine one weekend and a couple of other extras sneaking in.  But what I have proved to myself is that I can do it and Jane Plan really helped me achieve a great first month’s weight loss.  I still have a further couple of stone to lose (yes really – fresh bread/cheese/chocolate/wine all have a lot to answer for!) and then I hope to be at my pre childbirth weight and feel fit and fab throughout my forties!

Keep an eye out as I will keep you updated with my progress in the upcoming months.

Win 1 of 5, 12 Week Porridge on Tuesday Healthy Eating Plans

Porridge on Tuesday is not as the name suggests anything to do with porridge, unless you want it to be of course.  It is in fact the name of an exciting healthy eating plan that can help you to lose weight, at a rate that you want or even just maintain a steady weight by following healthy menus.  There are some delicious recipe ideas using everyday foods that are simple and quick to prepare.

pot foodA few months ago, I took the challenge and followed a Porridge on Tuesday plan in a bid to lose a bit of weight.  You can read about my first impressions here and after 4 weeks here.  I lost just over a stone on my journey and discovered that I loved the meal plans on offer, the flexibility to chop and change meals around, discard meals you are not keen on in exchange for others and tailor your weekly food to suit you.  This meant it was more enjoyable to follow and easier to maintain although for me I do find that following a plan like this keeps me motivated and on track.  When you haven’t got somewhere to check in each week it is easy to lose your way.

Hence why Porridge on Tuesday may be for you, a great opportunity to follow a healthy eating plan at the start of 2014 to get over any overeating you may do over the festive period and lose a few extra pounds you may have gained.  Or if you are looking for a little more weight loss, the plan can be tailored to your individual needs.

pot imageIf you’d like to try a plan, I’m pleased to let you know you can get 20% of any plan of your choice from the Porridge on Tuesday shop.  Each plan entitles you to:

  • A full menu plan with breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks
  • Recipes for all meals
  • A Personal Shopping list
  • A suggested Exercise plan
  • Support via a closed Facebook group to help you achieve your goal

Just email info@porridgeontuesday.com for more info.

Even better I have five, 12 week plans to give away, just fill in the form below for a chance to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to UK entrants only
Winners will be emailed and will need to reply within 5 days or a new winner will be drawn
Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

Porridge on Tuesday – 4 weeks & half a stone down!

I have now reached the first 4 week milestone of my journey following the Porridge on Tuesday online eating plan and I have been by no means perfect.  The odd glasses of wine have snuck in along with an icecream on a sunny day out and sometimes I just needed a something a little bit naughty!  So we had pizza on a family night together.

What I am really pleased to say is that I have lost my first 7lb – yes half a stone!!!  I can’t express how thrilled I am about this after the battles with food I’ve had over the last couple of years.  I’m finally settling into a routine full of healthy meals and snacks that I thoroughly enjoy eating and are simple to prepare.

I love the flexibility of the Porridge on Tuesday meal plans as although it gives me seven different meals each week, I can have the same one on several nights if I want to use up ingredients or simply enjoy the food.  This is great for me as I am often short on time or eating late.  Unfortunately we don’t eat as a family very often as my children are starving by 5 o’clock and I don’t want to fill them up on snacks.  My husband works shifts so is often not there in the evenings and then I don’t end up eating until the children are bathed and in bed.  Although to be honest I kind of prefer eating later otherwise I’d resort to snacking late in the evening.

Snacking is something I’ve always done, sometimes I end up snacking and missing meals so one thing I’ve made myself consciously do is cook something every night.  A quick pasta with pesto and spinach or courgettes is so quick and simple there’s no excuse.  Or a new one I discovered last week was veggie sausages and sweet potato mash – add freshly ground black pepper and you have a delicious bowl of comforting food.

When it comes to snacks, I can still have two a day with Porridge on Tuesday but what I am eating is drastically different from before – no more pre-wrapped biscuits/cereal bars/chocolate bars.  I have discoverd the perfect little snack bags of mixed almonds that contain the 30g suggested portion for a filling snack.  Portion control is something else I have trouble with and having a controlled portion is just what I need.  I also find these perfect to keep in my bag should I get caught out and about anywhere when the hunger pangs start, although I have to say these are become less the healthier I eat.

Houmous has always been a favourite of mine, usually with tortilla chips to dip in alongside a chilled glass of white wine.  When I discovered houmous was on the menu it immediately caught my eye, but instead of tortilla chips, the options are carrot sticks or vegetable sticks.  I am now a complete convert to coming home from work, chopping up a carrot and dipping it in houmous – absolutely delicious!  And it definitely keeps me going through to dinner.  Everytime my children hear me chopping, they run into the kitchen saying “Can I have some?”.  They absoulutely love dipping their carrot sticks in houmous so I have discovered a healthy delicious snack that I wouldn’t have given them before.  And the bizarre thing is that 5yr old Miss M doesn’t like carrots, has always refused to eat them, but now she quite happily chomps away on raw carrot sticks –  a great way to add one of their five a day!

Breakfast is one meal I can’t miss and I’ve always grabbed some cereal or toast.  Now I do still squeeze in a bowl of weetabix before I rush out the door, but on the days I don’t work and can spare a few minutes at home, I have come to love scrabbled eggs on toast.  Before Porridge on Tuesday it is something I would only eat very occasionally but now I’m eating it 4 or 5 times a week.  It’s totally delicious covered in ground black pepper and more importantly it really does fill me up and keep me going. I can honestly say I’ve eaten more eggs in the last four weeks than I have all year!

So as you can see I’m really getting into the spirit of my new healthy eating regime courtesy of Porridge on Tuesday.  It really is inspiring me with tasty dishes to eat, I’m enjoying the menu’s, even if I do chop and change them around.  Though I’m desperate to lose the weight that has crept on, I feel that the biggest motivation for me is writing about it, sharing my journey with you – I would hate to disappoint, let people down and most of all not succeed for myself.  No more years of being unhappy in my clothes, tight waistlines, baggy tops – I want to feel free to wear what I want, not hide away and for my children to grow up seeing a happy, self confident mummy.

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If you want to find out more about Porridge on Tuesday’s healthy eating plans check out their website, or catch up on Facebook for lots of friendly advice and tips.  They offer plans for everyone, be it gluten free, vegan, vegetarian like myself or just a simple healthy eating plan – you can take a look at the plans here.
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